Québec Conference 1943 (QUADRANT)

Memorandum by the British Chiefs of Staff

Québec, 15 August 1943.

Most secret
CCS 308

South-East Asia Command

Part I

  1. The vigorous and effective prosecution of large-scale operations against Japan in Southeast Asia, and the rapid development of the air route through Burma to China, necessitate the reorganization of the High Command in the Indian Theater. It has, therefore, been proposed that the Command in India should be divided from the operational Command in Southeast Asia as described below.

Command in India

  1. The administration of India as a base for the forces in Southeast Asia will remain under the control of the Commander in Chief, India. Coordination of movement and maintenance both of the operational forces based on India and of the internal garrison can best be carried out efficiently by one staff responsible in the last resort to one authority with power to decide priorities. This machinery exists today in the Government of India and in GHQ India. It is the only machinery which can carry out the dual tasks of meeting the internal requirements of India as well as the requirements of operations in the Southeast Asia Theater.

Command in Southeast Asia

  1. A Supreme Allied Command in Southeast Asia should be set up as follows:

a. The command and staff to be a combined British and American one on the lines of the North African Command.

b. The Supreme Allied Commander to be British, with an American deputy. He should have under him Naval, Army and Air Commanders in Chief, and also a Principal Administrative Officer to coordinate the administrative planning of all three services and of the Allied forces.

c. The Deputy Supreme Allied Commander and the Commanders of the three services mentioned above, acting under the orders of the Supreme Allied Commander, to control all operations and have under their command such Naval, Military and Air forces as may be assigned to the Southeast Asia Theater from time to time.

  1. The proposed boundaries of the Southeast Asia Command will be as follows:

a. Eastern Boundary
From the point where the frontier between China and Indo China reaches the Gulf of Tonkin, southwards along the coast of Indo China, Thailand and Malaya to Singapore; from Singapore south to the North Coast of Sumatra; thence round the East Coast of Sumatra (leaving the Sunda Strait to the eastward of the line) to a point on the coast of Sumatra at longitude 104 degrees East; thence South to latitude 08 degrees South; thence Southeasterly towards Onslow, Australia, and, on reaching longitude 110 degrees East, due South along that meridian.

b. Northern Frontier
From the point where the frontier between China and Indo China reaches the Gulf of Tonkin westwards along the Chinese frontier to its junction with the Indo-Burma border; thence along that border to the sea; thence round the Coast of India and Persia (all exclusive to the Southeast Asia Command) to meridian 60 degrees East.

c. Western Boundary
Southward along meridian 60 degrees East to Albatross Island, thence Southeastward to exclude Rodriguez Island and thence due southward.

  1. The Headquarters of the Supreme Allied Commander, Southeast Asia Command, should be formed in the first instance at Delhi, since it will take over elements of the present General Headquarters, India. The Supreme Allied Commander will submit his recommendations as to the ultimate location of his Headquarters as soon as he has had time to study the problem.

Division of Responsibility Between India and Southeast Asia

  1. Conflicts of opinion over priorities in connection with administration must be anticipated. It will, therefore, be necessary for someone on the spot to resolve these differences day by day as they occur. This authority should be the Viceroy, not in his statutory capacity as Governor-General, but acting on behalf of the British War Cabinet.

  2. The Supreme Commander will in any event have direct access to the British Chiefs of Staff on all matters, and if he is not satisfied with the ruling of the Viceroy on administrative matters, he will be able to exercise this right. The Commander in Chief, India, will continue to have the right of direct access to the British Chiefs of Staff.

Part II

  1. The above arrangements have been generally agreed between the President and Prime Minister, but the following points call for further discussion:

a. Deputy Supreme Allied Commander
It has been proposed that the responsibilities of General Stilwell as the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander should be defined as follows:

The Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, in addition to his duties as such, will command, under the Supreme Allied Commander, all ground and air forces at present under the United States Commander in the Southeast Asia Theater, and such additional United States and Chinese forces as may in the future be made available, and will continue to be responsible for the operation of the air route to China and for the defense of its India terminal. Furthermore the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander will continue to have the same direct responsibilities to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek as now lie with the United States Commander.

The British Chiefs of Staff are doubtful whether the above arrangements will work satisfactorily and would welcome discussion of them. They think it would be very difficult for General Stilwell to exercise executive command over a part of the land forces and a part of the operational air force.

b. Command Relationship
The British Chiefs of Staff consider that the relationship of the Supreme Commander, Southeast Asia, should follow as closely as possible, mutatis mutandis, the MacArthur model. Under this arrangement, the Combined Chiefs of Staff would exercise general jurisdiction over grand strategic policy for the Southeast Asia Theater, and over such relating factors as are necessary for implementing this policy, including the allocation of American and British resources of all kinds between the China Theater and the Southeast Asia Command. The British Chiefs of Staff would exercise jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to operational strategy, and would be the channel through which all instructions to the Supreme Commander are passed. It is understood that the United States Chiefs of Staff consider that the more appropriate Command relationship would be for the Supreme Commander to report to the Combined Chiefs of Staff following the Eisenhower model.

c. The Coordination of American Agencies such as OSS, OWI, FCB, etc., with Comparable British Organizations
It is proposed that all American agencies functioning in relation to the Southeast Asia Command, notably the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the Office of War Information (OWI), the Federal Communication Board (FCB), and the Office of Economic Warfare (OEW), having been placed by the United States Chiefs of Staff under the control of the Deputy Supreme Commander, these agencies should operate in conformity with the requirements of the Supreme Commander. To this end, the activities of these agencies in the Southeast Asia Command Area, whether conducted from within the India Command or from within the Southeast Asia Command Area or from other locations in Asia, should be coordinated with those of similar British agencies, such as the Far Eastern Bureau (FEB), the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), the Special Operations Executive (SOE), and the Ministry of Economic Warfare (MEW)

The British Chiefs of Staff consider that this coordination can best be arranged by agreement between the Supreme Commander, the Commander in Chief, India, and the Deputy Supreme Commander, in consultation with the Viceroy. These authorities should also decide the degree and method of liaison which it is expedient to establish between the American and their corresponding British agencies.

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Memorandum by the Chief of the British Air Staff

Québec, 15 August 1943.

Most secret
Enclosure to CCS 309


I annex an appreciation by Air Intelligence of the trend of development and disposition of the German Fighter Force in relation to POINTBLANK.

The salient points are:
a. The German Fighter Force has increased by 22% since 1 January 1943.

b. Its strength on the Western Front has been doubled since the same date.

c. The increase on the Western Front has absorbed the entire expansion under [a.].

d. Fighter units and experienced fighter pilots have nevertheless had to be withdrawn from the Mediterranean and Russian Fronts as well, in spite of the critical situation on those fronts.

e. In spite of the present strain on the German night fighters they are being used by day to counter the deep daylight penetration of POINTBLANK into Germany.

The buildup of the Eighth Bomber Command as required in the POINTBLANK plan approved by the CCS at TRIDENT should have been 1068 aircraft on the 15th August. The comparable figure of the actual buildup achieved on that date was 921 (including 105 detached to North Africa).

The present strength of the GAF Fighter Force is 2260 aircraft in first line units compared with a strength of 2000 which it was hoped would not be exceeded if POINTBLANK could have been executed as planned. Thus, the GAF Fighter Force is 13% stronger than had been hoped, and this in spite of increased successes in Russia and the Mediterranean which were not taken into account in the POINTBLANK plan.

I do not set out the above information in order to make a criticism of an inability to have achieved complete fulfillment of POINTBLANK. My object is to bring out the fact that, in spite of some shortfall in the buildup, Germany is now faced with imminent disaster if only the pressure of POINTBLANK can be maintained and increased before the increase in the GAF Fighter Force has gone too far.

There is no need for us to speculate about the effect of POINTBLANK on Germany. The Germans themselves, when they weaken the Russian and Mediterranean fronts in the face of serious reverses there, tell us by their acts what importance to attach to it.

The daylight “Battle of Germany” is evidently regarded by the Germans as of critical importance and we have already made them throw into it most, if not all, of their available reserves.

If we do not now strain every nerve to bring enough force to bear to win this battle during the next two or three months but are content to see the 8th Bomber Command hampered by lack of reinforcements just as success is within its grasp, we may well miss the opportunity to win a decisive victory against the German Air Force which will have incalculable effects on all future operations and on the length of the war. And the opportunity, once lost, may not recur.

  1. I, therefore, urge most strongly that we should invite the USCS to take all practicable steps at the earliest possible date to increase the striking power of the 8th Bomber Command as much as possible during the next two months.

British Intelligence Appreciation

GAF Single-Engined Fighter Reinforcement of the Western Front, January-July, 1943

Strength and Disposition
The Initial Equipment (IE) of the GAF single-engined fighter force as a whole increased by 245 aircraft from 1,095 to 1,340 between 1 January and 1 August 1943. The disposition of this force in the main operational areas on the respective dates was as follows:

1-1-43 1-8-43 Difference
Western Front 305 600 +295
Mediterranean 320 295 -25
Russian Front 430 395 -35
Refitting 40 50 +10
Total 1,095 1,340 245

It will be seen that the fighter force on the Western Front has been doubled during the period under review and that this increase has in effect more than absorbed the entire expansion which has occurred; it has in addition entailed a weakening of both the Mediterranean and Russian Fronts notwithstanding the important military campaigns in those areas where the Axis forces have suffered serious reverses since the beginning of the year.

Sources of Increased Strength
The raising of SE fighter strength on the Western Front has been accomplished in two ways:

a. As a result of the defensive strategy forced on the GAF since the end of 1942 in face of growing Allied air power on the Western Front, in the Mediterranean and in Russia, Germany was forced to adopt the policy of achieving the maximum possible expansion of fighter production.

The outcome of this policy is clearly seen in the formation of new fighter units and of the expansion of others; in addition there has been a noticeable tendency to maintain the actual strength of many fighter units well in excess of IE, particularly on the Western Front.

b. By the withdrawal of units from the Mediterranean and Russia.

The reinforcement of the Western Front as a result of the above measures can be analyzed as follows:

Newly formed units 165
Expansion of existing units 165
Transferred from Russia 90
Transferred from Mediterranean 60
Gross Total 315
Loss [Less?]:
Fighter units transferred to fighter-bomber Category 20
Net Total Increase 295 aircraft

Redisposition on the Western Front
A most striking change in the disposition of the GAF fighter force on the Western Front has taken place since 1 January in order to secure the greatest possible defensive strength to cover the approaches to Germany. Prior to that date, the German fighter dispositions were mainly to cover the North coast of France, Belgium and the Low Countries against RAF fighter sweeps in these areas and against such daylight bombing of occupied territory as then took place.

The comparative dispositions are shown as follows:

Area IE at 1-8-43 IE at 1-1-43 Differences
France (West of the Seine) 95 95 0
France (East of the Seine and Belgium) 105 70 +35
Holland 150 40 +110
N.W. Germany 180 35 +145
Denmark and S. Norway 50 35 +15
Trondheim and N. Norway 20 30 -10
Total 600 305 +295

The salient points which emerge are:
a. The greatly increased defenses of Northwest Germany have absorbed 50% of the total increased fighter strength on the Western Front.

b. The balance of this increase has gone mainly to the Belgium-Holland area.

A point not clearly revealed by the above figures has been the movement eastwards of French based units and the bringing of others from Norway to Northwest Germany; there has therefore been a strong tendency to concentrate the maximum possible forces into the area between the Scheldt and the Elbe. Nevertheless, it is certain that the present fighter strength defending Northwest Germany and its approaches is still inadequate for its purpose; this is supported by the increasing use of night-fighters for daylight interception especially against deep penetration into Germany where the resources of the GAF are inadequate to maintain SE day fighter forces.

Reason for Increased Defenses
The doubling of the German SE fighter force on the Western Front and the allocation of virtually the whole of this increase to Belgium, Holland and Northwest Germany are attributable solely to the development of Allied day bombing of Germany. The defense of Germany against these attacks has in fact become the prime concern of the GAF and is being undertaken even at the expense of air support for military operations on other fronts. There is no reason to suppose that this will not continue to constitute the main commitment of the defensive fighter forces of the GAF: if anything, this commitment is likely to increase and the transfer of further units to the Western Front from other operational areas cannot be excluded.

Strain on Crews
Despite their strength and flexibility, the fighter defenses of Germany are liable to be subject to extreme strain over periods of sustained day and night attacks on Germany: this was particularly noticeable during the last week in July when day fighters were extensively employed as night fighters in addition to their day operations and conversely night fighters had to be employed for day interception. The effects of such continued activity on crews must inevitably have been severe and there is evidence that in the later raids during this period opposition was less determined and Allied losses noticeably reduced. There is no doubt that during this period the German fighter defenses were subjected to the most severe test they have yet experienced.

Transfer of Experienced Pilots to Western Front
The urgent necessity of the defense of Germany has not only deprived the Russian and Mediterranean Fronts of units, let alone reinforcements; it has also entailed a deterioration in quality of the fighter pilots employed in those fronts, notably Russia since there is strong evidence that the most experienced pilots are being transferred to the Western Front and replaced by others of inferior skill.

a. There can be no doubt that Germany regards the defense of the Reich against daylight air attack as of such supreme importance that adequate support for military operations in Russia and the Mediterranean has been rendered impossible. In Russia, the fighter force actually engaged on the entire front is now little more than half that on the Western Front; this fighter weakness has unquestionably been an important contributory factor to the German failure in Russia this year.

Similarly in the Mediterranean despite the wide areas exposed to Allied air attack from Sardinia to Crete and the need for support of Italy no reinforcement whatever has been forthcoming; consequently, Allied air operations have been carried out with the maximum of success and minimum loss against negligible opposition, thereby largely contributing to present conditions in Italy.

b. The Western Front with a fighter strength almost equal that of the Mediterranean and Russian Fronts combined constitutes the only source from which reinforcements needed elsewhere can be provided unless further new units are formed; this however appears unlikely in the immediate future. Consequently, in the event of South Germany becoming exposed to air attack by day, it seems inevitable that such fighter defenses as may be set up must be derived almost exclusively from the West; the defense of South Germany against air attack on a scale equivalent to that now existing on the Western Front would necessitate the reduction of the fighter force in that area by up to 50% dependent on the then existing commitments of the GAF in the Mediterranean and elsewhere.

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The Combined Chiefs of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief, AFHQ

Québec, 15 August 1943


Standstill order issued by Combined Chiefs of Staff in their message of 14th August regarding bombing of Rome is revoked. For Eisenhower FREEDOM Algiers, FAN 194, from the Combined Chiefs of Staff. You are free to carry on these operations to the extent that you consider necessary or advisable subject to previous limitations regarding safety of Vatican.

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Memorandum by the United States Chiefs of Staff

Québec, 15 August 1943.

CCS 310

Propaganda Committee

Recent events have indicated the necessity for establishing some machinery whereby propaganda policies to be followed by London, Washington, and Theater Headquarters may be coordinated, particularly in emergency cases.

The enclosure is presented by the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a possible solution to this problem. They consider it desirable that something along these lines be accomplished during the QUADRANT Conferences.

[Propaganda Committee]


To establish a central agency with power of decision regarding propaganda lines to be followed.

Facts bearing on the problem

The recent removal of Mussolini disclosed the fact that in emergencies there is no United Nations agency immediately available to coordinate and determine the propaganda policy that should be followed in order to derive the maximum benefit from the situation. As a result, there has been a divergence in the propaganda aims as between the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Theater Commander, which will be difficult to correct.

The time involved in obtaining agreed views from the Chief Executives of the two governments, the State Department, the Foreign Office, and the military and naval leaders of the two countries is too long to permit taking full advantage of a situation which requires immediate action.

Action recommended

That the Combined Chiefs of Staff recommend to the President and the Prime Minister:
a. That a Propaganda Committee be set up in Washington to include one high-level representative each from the U.S. State Department, British Foreign Office, U.S. Chiefs of Staff and the British Chiefs of Staff.

b. That this Committee be authorized to make decisions and issue broad directives on propaganda policies to be followed by the propaganda agencies of the two countries. These should be such as to insure the maximum benefit in furthering the military and political aims of the two governments. It should be understood that this committee ordinarily is free to seek guidance on the highest levels, but in emergencies to have the responsibility of taking immediate action without reference to higher authority.

c. That the Combined Chiefs of Staff be charged with the implementation of the above.

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Marshall-Churchill meeting, evening

United States United Kingdom
General Marshall Prime Minister Churchill

From the minutes of the 105th Meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, held at 10 a.m., August 16:

General Marshall said that last night it was evident that the Prime Minister had been informed of the results of yesterday’s CCS Meeting. Mr. Churchill did not mention the subject at first. He talked about Burma and the COSSAC command and referred to the misunderstanding with General Eisenhower about a certain dispatch. Finally, the Prime Minister got around to the subject of OVERLORD and said he had changed his mind regarding OVERLORD and that we should use every opportunity to further that operation, General Marshall said he told the Prime Minister that the Combined Chiefs of Staff had had a difficult meeting yesterday afternoon and that there had been frank differences of opinion but that he believed such a situation was excellent at the start. He said there was discussion regarding the “right” and “left” method of approach and that he informed the Prime Minister that he could not agree to the logic of supporting the main effort by withdrawing strength therefrom in order to bolster up the force in Italy. The Prime Minister finally dropped the subject, saying “give us time.”

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The Pittsburgh Press (August 16, 1943)

Quick victory forecast laid to Churchill

Québec hears report of prediction end will come in 6 months
By John A. Reichmann, United Press staff writer

Québec, Canada –
Prime Minister Winston Churchill was reported without official confirmation today to have predicted the end of the European war within the next six months.

The report was published in the influential French-language newspaper Catholic Action and was understood to have been made before the Québec Cabinet, presumably early last week before Mr. Churchill left for his three-day conference with President Roosevelt at Hyde Park, New York.

The newspaper published the report as a “rumor” but it had also been known confidentially by a number of persons for the last several days.

Heavy blows hinted

The report, if true, would be almost revolutionary for the conservative Mr. Churchill, who has consistently promised his people nothing but “blood, sweat and tears,” and would support previous predictions that tremendous blows are planned against Hitler’s European fortress within the next few weeks.

The newspaper said Mr. Churchill’s statement was made in French and was to the effect the war would be over “d’ici a une demi-douzaine de mois” – or, literally, from now to within six months.

The Prime Minister’s prediction was supposed to have dealt only with Germany and not the war against Japan.

The fate of Rome will be decided by Wednesday, it was believed in Québec Conference circles.

The Chiefs of Staff of the United States and Britain were understood to have decided not to accept the Italian declaration that Rome has been declared an open city, unless Marshal Pietro Badoglio accepts the Allies’ unconditional surrender demand.

May not occupy city

The Allies were said to be considering a decision not to occupy Rome and not to use it for any military purpose.

In such case, the Vatican, the International Red Cross, and possibly Swiss neutral representatives might be invited to form a commission which would guarantee Rome’s neutrality.

However, it was assumed that there will be no final decisions involving political policy for transmission to Badoglio until Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Roosevelt have made their final review of Italian policy. This, it was assumed, will be one of their first acts when they hold their scheduled meeting here this week.

Plans completed

It was understood that the Anglo-American military plans for Southern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean have been completed and approved by the general staffs.

The conference, therefore, was expected to concern itself this week almost exclusively with plans for an attack from Britain along the shortest lines to Berlin.

The groups of specialists who have been working 16 hours a day in the Château Frontenac, are understood to have drawn up detailed reports outlining the basic military, naval and air needs for a series of attacks, a number of which would be diversionary sorties extending from the coastal area of Norway to the border between France and Spain.

May aim for Paris

The fundamental objective of the conference was to define where and how soon the greater part of Anglo-American strength now in England and Iceland can be landed across the continent.

There was reason here to believe that Paris will be among the first main objectives.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill was working with his chiefs of staff.

Confer at Hyde Park

Mr. Churchill returned here yesterday and it was revealed by the White House in Washington that he and Mr. Roosevelt had been together for three days at the Roosevelt estate at Hyde Park, New York. Mr. Roosevelt was back in Washington.

It was presumed that the two leaders had preliminary talks at Hyde Park but the presence of Mrs. Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill’s daughter Mary suggested that the social angle had been at least one reason for their meeting there.

Mr. Roosevelt held a series of meetings with top advisers in Washington, in preparation for his conference with Mr. Churchill.

To cover wide field

Weekend developments made clear the wide fields to be covered by the conference. Among them was the definite disclosure that British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden would be here.

From this, it was concluded that the agenda will roughly be divided into three parts:

  1. Military considerations, which will come first and will be secret until they are transmitted into concrete action.

  2. Immediate political problems which will be encountered as the armies move into new enemy territory.

  3. Long-range political problems likely to be encountered as the Allies try to convert into action the objectives of the Atlantic Charter and related pledges.

Many observers believe that Mr. Eden, or even Mr. Churchill, will proceed to Moscow to discuss what has been done with Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin.

After conferring with Mr. Roosevelt, Secretary of State Cordell Hull said that neither he nor any State Department official planned, at this time, to participate in the Québec Conference.

Standing invitation to Stalin reported

London, England (UP) –
The Sunday Express diplomatic correspondent, commenting on the Russian TASS News Agency statement that Premier Stalin had not been invited to attend the Québec Conference, said President Roosevelt had earlier had invited the Russian war leader to a meeting at any place he might name.

Mr. Roosevelt, the correspondent said, sent Stalin a personal letter by former Ambassador Joseph E. Davis, inviting him to meet the British and American leaders “in the near future at any place Stalin named.”

The Soviet leader cordially and lengthily replied, thanking Mr. Roosevelt for the invitation and saying that while it was not impossible that circumstances might change before long, the military situation at the moment compelled all his attention and presence, the correspondent said.

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Decision awaits inspection –
Allied require proof by Rome

Roosevelt, Churchill may rule on open city
By Robert Dowson, United Press staff writer

London, England –
President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill will probably issue a pronouncement from Québec in reply to the Italian government’s designation of Rome as an open city, diplomatic sources said today.

Allied action on the Italian declaration rests with them and their military advisers, these sources pointed out.

Bern dispatches said all telegraph and telephone communications from Switzerland to Italy were cut off today, but no official explanation was forthcoming immediately.

Proof needed

Meanwhile, qualified observers believed that Rome would continue to be regarded as a military target until the United Nations satisfy themselves, presumably through neutral inspection, that the city is no longer being used for any military purposes.

Even the Rome radio told the Italian people that the open city declaration was not binding on the Allies, and only a bilateral declaration based on proof satisfactory to the Allies that the city contained no military objectives would prevent further air attacks.

No official word of the Italian government’s decision had yet reached London.

Evacuation reported

A Rome dispatch published in Sweden today said the Italians are rushing evacuation of military material from Rome at a “feverish” pace in an attempt to make the capital an open city.

A Madrid dispatch said the Germans were exerting heavy pressure on the Badoglio government to delay designation of Rome as an open city until an estimated 60,000 German troops south of Rome were moved to northern Italy.

Nazis build defenses

German forces, reinforced by reserves streaming through the Brenner Pass, are frantically building hedgehog defenses along the Po River in northern Italy for a stand against any Allied attempt to invade Germany from the south, according to a Swiss report published in the Stockholm newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

Reports reaching Madrid estimated that some 20,000 German troops have been evacuated from Sicily to San Giovanni and Reggio Calabria in southern Italy and another 40,000 are stationed around Rome.

Sought to end alliance

Another Stockholm newspaper, Dagerns Nyheter, asserted that Italy sought to dissolve its alliance with Germany during conferences in northern Italy a little more than 10 days ago, but reluctantly consented to continue fighting when German troops, supported by tanks and planes, surrounded Rome.

Seeking to avert any flood of refugees from other bomb-ravaged cities in Italy in the event the Allies accept Rome as an open city, the Prefect of Rome has issued orders imposing a ban on visitors.

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U.S. State Department (August 16, 1943)

Meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, 2:30 p.m.

United States United Kingdom
Admiral Leahy General Brooke
General Marshall Admiral of the Fleet Pound
Admiral King Air Chief Marshal Portal
General Arnold Field Marshal Dill
Lieutenant General Somervell Vice Admiral Mountbatten
Vice Admiral Willson General Riddell-Webster
Rear Admiral Cooke Admiral Noble
Rear Admiral Badger Lieutenant General Macready
Major General Fairchild Air Marshal Welsh
Brigadier General Kuter Captain Lambe
Brigadier General Wedemeyer Brigadier Porter
Commander Freseman Air Commodore Elliot
Commander Long
Brigadier General Deane Brigadier Redman
Captain Royal Commander Coleridge

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

August 16, 1943, 2:30 p.m.


Strategic Concept for the Defeat of the Axis in Europe (CCS 303-303/l)

The Combined Chiefs of Staff discussed in closed session the strategic concept for the defeat of the Axis in Europe.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Agreed to give further consideration to this subject at their next meeting.

Conclusions of 108th Meeting

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Accepted the conclusions of the 108th Meeting. The detailed record of the meeting was also accepted, subject to minor amendments.

POINTBLANK (CCS 309 and CCS 252/2)

Sir Charles Portal gave certain figures with regard to the progress of the combined bomber offensive. Since the beginning of the war the Royal Air Force had dropped 136,000 tons of bombs on Germany, 73,000 tons of which had been dropped within the last seven months. In the first quarter of 1943 17,000 tons had been dropped by night and in the second quarter as much as 35,000 tons.

The damage caused by the air offensive was difficult to assess in precise terms, but he would like to draw attention to certain points in the report by the Joint Intelligence Committee which had been circulated to the U.S. Chiefs of Staff.

Only one-third of the German industry had been under heavy attack for three months. The effect of these attacks had fallen mainly on the basic industries in the Ruhr. Hence, the effect of the attack on the forces in the field was not immediate and results on these forces would increase as time went on. A further result of the attacks was the forcing on Germany of a defensive air strategy. In addition, they produced a serious drain on Germany’s manpower.

With regard to the submarine war, it was estimated that no less than 30 U-boats less than the planned program had been produced between June 1942 and June 1943. As a result of damage already inflicted an additional loss in U-boat construction would result, amounting to some 12 or 13 boats over the next six months.

Morale had also been seriously affected. Casualties were heavy and great destruction of industrial homes had occurred. It was estimated that some 422,000 workers had been rendered homeless and an additional 1,800,000 had suffered damage to their homes which was irreparable, since the necessary consumer goods to replace those destroyed were not available. The report stated that the bombing had affected the outlook of the population with regard to the regime, the war effort as a whole and willingness to hold out.

Damage to Krupps Works had decreased output from 50 to 75 percent and this was in addition to damage to other similar industries. The U.S. Air Force attack on the synthetic rubber plant had reduced the total rubber supply by 15 percent. Transportation was also dislocated and Germany’s plan for an expansion of locomotive production had been nullified by the destruction of locomotives and their manufacturing and repair facilities.

He had felt it right that he should put forward a memorandum on the air offensive in view of the task of coordination given him by the Combined Chiefs of Staff at Casablanca. Further, the day and night offensives were complementary and a heavy scale of daylight bombing rendered the task of the night bombers easier, since the Germans were being forced to use night fighters against daylight attacks.

The present situation had both good and bad features. On the one hand, German fighter strength was stretched almost to breaking point, and in spite of their precarious situation on the Russian and Mediterranean fronts, they had found it necessary to reinforce their fighter forces on the Western Front from these sources. On the other hand, the expansion of German fighter strength was continuing and had increased 13 percent during this year. It had been hoped that this expansion would by now have been stopped. The 8th Air Force, who were achieving a great task with their existing resources, believed that they could achieve even greater successes if their strength was increased.

He asked the Combined Chiefs of Staff to take action to make a victory in the battle of the air as certain as possible before the autumn. If this was not done, the Germans, by a conservation of their strength and by the development of new methods of defense, might be in an unassailable position by the spring. To achieve our object diversions from the 8th Air Force should be stopped, loans of aircraft from the 8th Air Force to other theaters must be returned, and the bomber command of the 8th Air Force must be built up and reinforced to the maximum possible. Such steps would, he was convinced, be amply justified.

With regard to the employment of the aircraft used for TIDAL WAVE, he considered that whether employed from the Mediterranean or from England, they should be under the command of the 8th Air Force and devoted to attacks on fighter factories. They should, in fact, revert to a part of the POINTBLANK forces and not be left under the control of General Eisenhower, whose air forces were already considerable.

Admiral Leahy said that the United States Chiefs of Staff had examined Sir Charles Portal’s paper, and that they were in full accord with the views expressed and wished to reaffirm that every resource within United States capabilities was being strained to provide the maximum reinforcement of POINTBLANK.

Admiral King referred to a directive to General Eisenhower (FAN 172), in which he was instructed that follow-up attacks on Ploești were to follow attacks on fighter factories. He was not clear as to how far the missions referred to in this telegram had been accomplished. It might now be necessary to modify the instructions with regard to follow-up attacks on Ploești.

Sir Charles Portal said he believed that at TRIDENT only one attack on Ploești had been decided on. A second attack would have serious results on POINTBLANK.

Admiral King pointed out that General Eisenhower’s latest signal (CCS 252/2) requested the use of the B-24s against Italian targets after the completion of their attacks on the fighter factories. General Eisenhower visualized further attacks on Ploești being carried out after the aircraft were established in Italy

General Arnold outlined the losses suffered in the Ploești raid; of the 178 aircraft dispatched, 54, including 51 crews, had been lost. The results had been excellent, with eight out of nine targets hit and five of them almost totally destroyed. The casualties had, at least in part, been caused by the loss of the leader of the formation at the outset. This had necessitated reorganization and an attack which was not completely coordinated. It might be impossible to ask crews to sustain a loss of 33 percent in more than one operation.

With regard to POINTBLANK, General Arnold said that in the month of July 25 attacks had been made, with a loss rate of 7.4 percent per mission, as compared with an average loss rate throughout the period of their operations of 6.7 percent. 3,400 tons of bombs had been dropped in July.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:
a. Took note of CCS 309 and of the following comment submitted by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff:

The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff are in full accord with the views of the British Chiefs of Staff that the maximum reinforcement of POINTBLANK, particularly over the period of intense combat with the German Fighter Air Force immediately ahead, is a subject of the most critical importance, and wish to reaffirm that every resource within U.S. capabilities is being strained to bring this about.

b. Agreed to defer action on CCS 252/2.

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Harriman-Churchill meeting, afternoon

United States United Kingdom
Mr. Harriman Prime Minister Churchill

From Harriman’s notes:

The Prime Minister seemed quite satisfied with his talk with General Marshall which had taken place at dinner the night before. He was quite apologetic for keeping him up so late but said he thought it was fruitful.

He talked about the Italian situation and was quite optimistic that ‘important results’ would occur.

He was elated over the Sicilian news.

He seemed satisfied that the differences between the Chiefs of Staff could be ironed out. He does not fully understand the suspicion that exists on the American side regarding the British determination to cross the Channel. On paper the differences don’t look very great. I believe, however, that this fear will be removed within the next day or two as I am convinced the British now see the opportunity equally favorably as do our Chiefs of Staff, which has not been the case up to now. The above would be based on acceptance of British Mediterranean proposals.

(Admiral Leahy told me that he was much impressed by the logic of General Brooke’s presentation.)

I told the Prime Minister I was quite satisfied from discussions that Leathers and Douglas had had that the troop lift and cargo ships could be found to back up the strategic proposals.

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Memorandum by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff

Québec, 16 August 1943.

CCS 303/1

Strategic Concept for the Defeat of the Axis in Europe

The discussion in the Combined Chiefs of Staff Meeting yesterday made more apparent than ever the necessity for decision now as to whether our main effort in the European Theater is to be in the Mediterranean or from the United Kingdom. The United States Chiefs of Staff believe that this is the critical question before the conference and that the effective conduct of the war in Europe makes this decision now a must.

We propose the following:
The Combined Chiefs of Staff reaffirm the decisions of the TRIDENT Conference as to the execution of OVERLORD including the definite allotment of forces thereto and assign to it an overriding priority over other operations in the European Theater.

The United States Chiefs of Staff believe that the acceptance of this decision must be without conditions and without mental reservation. They accept the fact that a grave emergency will always call for appropriate action to meet it. However, long-range decision for the conduct of the war must not be dominated by possible eventualities.

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Report by the Combined Intelligence Committee

Québec, 16 August 1943.

Enclosure to CCS 127/3

Scale of Attack on the East and West Coasts of North America

Statement of the problem

  1. The Combined Chiefs of Staff have directed the Combined Intelligence Committee to report on the probable scale of attack that might be expected on the east and west coasts of North America.


  1. The probable scale of attack on the east coast of North America is discussed in Enclosure “A;” that on the west coast in Enclosure “B.” In this paper, consideration is limited to the Atlantic Coast north of the Straits of Florida and to the Pacific Coast north of Mexico.


  1. East coast of North America. Submarine attacks on shipping and minelaying in the coastal zone are continuing possibilities. Sporadic bombardment of shore installations, or landing of commando raiders or saboteurs by submarines are also possible but only on a small scale. Similar attacks by surface raiders are possible, but highly improbable. Air attack, on a very small scale, is possible, but is even more improbable than surface attack.

  2. West coast of North America. Our conclusions are the same as those for the East coast, with two slight shifts of emphasis:

a. The maximum possible scale of submarine attack is less.

b. The possible scale of attack by ship-borne aircraft is greater. Such an attack, however, is very unlikely.

Enclosure “A”

Scale of Attack on the East Coast of North America

  1. Enemy capabilities are virtually limited to attacks by submarine or surface raider. Land-based air attack is impractical. Surface raiders might launch ship-borne aircraft. Both submarines and surface raiders might:
    a. Attack shipping off the coast,
    b. Mine coastal waters,
    c. Bombard shore installations (including attacks by ship-borne aircraft),
    d. Land commandos,
    e. Land trained saboteurs and materials for sabotage,

  2. Attacks by any type of aircraft are extremely improbable. Land-based air attack is physically possible, but because of range limitations would involve the sacrifice of the aircraft used and their crews and could not be carried out on a scale which could exert any material effect on the outcome of the war. An attack by ship-based aircraft would offer less physical difficulty, but would be very limited in its maximum scale. The one German aircraft carrier, GRAF ZEPPELIN, has been laid up and there is no indication that she will be available for service in the near future, if ever. Lacking an aircraft carrier, only catapulted planes or seaplanes could be used. The vessels transporting the planes would be subjected to a serious risk of loss. The possibility that Germany would accept these risks appears to be increasingly remote.

  3. Operations by surface raiders of any type against sea communications within the coastal zone or against shore objectives are extremely unlikely. A merchant ship raider would probably have a better chance than a warship of reaching undetected the shipping lanes in the coastal zone or a shore objective. The chances of reaching the shipping lanes in the coastal zone are better than those of penetrating within effective gun range of a shore objective. It is most unlikely that either type, if at large in the North Atlantic, would attempt operations against objectives within the North American coastal zone in preference to attack of shipping on the ocean routes. Any relaxation of patrol activities would probably be taken advantage of by submarines rather than by surface vessels.

  4. Attacks by submarines. Some 200 German and 40 Italian submarines are believed to be operational. At present, very few are operating immediately off the coast of North America. If, however, a reduction in anti-submarine activity in the coastal zone were perceptible, an increase in submarine activity against shipping in that zone would be likely to occur. Mining, bombardment, and the landing of raiders or saboteurs from submarines are continuing capabilities, but are possible only on a small scale.

Enclosure “B”

Scale of Attack on the West Coast of North America

  1. Enemy capabilities are limited to attacks by submarines and surface raiders, the latter ranging in scale up to hit and run operations by a carrier task force. Land-based air attack is impossible so long as Kiska remains effectively neutralized. Japan lacks both the naval strength and the shipping to conduct large scale naval or shipborne attacks against North America.

Both submarines and surface raiders might:
a. Attack shipping off the coast,
b. Mine coastal waters,
c. Launch aircraft,
d. Bombard shore installations,
e. Land commandos,
f. Land trained saboteurs and materials for sabotage.

  1. Carrier-borne air attack. Japan could form a suitable task force and, considering the vastness of the Pacific, could perhaps bring it undetected within effective range of a profitable target such as Los Angeles-San Diego, the Puget Sound–Vancouver area, or the San Francisco Bay area. The risks, however, would be enormous, and at this juncture Japan cannot afford to risk either carriers or other vessels for indecisive purposes. All such craft available to her are, moreover, required for other uses.

  2. Surface raiders. Japan’s shortage of suitable types of naval vessels makes it extremely unlikely that she would employ them as raiders. The shipping stringency would have the same effect as regards armed merchantmen.

  3. Submarines. About 60 Japanese submarines are believed to be operational. Some of these are capable of carrying up to 200 men. Japan has tended to use submarines in direct connection with military operations and has not employed them extensively in distant operations against shipping. Submarine attacks on shipping off the west coast of North America, mining, bombardment, and the landing of raiders or saboteurs from submarines are continuing capabilities, but are possible only on a small scale. An increase in the present low scale of submarine operations is possible but improbable. Increasing pressure on Japanese naval forces in the southwest and central Pacific would tend to occupy Japanese submarines in those waters and thus to decrease the probability of their use off North America.

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The Pittsburgh Press (August 17, 1943)

Push on France reported near

Invasion may result from Québec Conference
By Merriman Smith, United Press staff writer

Québec, Canada –
An invasion of Western Europe by way of the English Channel may be one of the first tangible results of the sixth war conference between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, it was believed here today.

This city was marking time awaiting the President’s arrival. Meanwhile, the military staffs of Great Britain, Canada and the United States continued at work in the Château Frontenac, completely inaccessible to all outsiders.

The London Daily Mail printed a dispatch from its Québec correspondent that Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Commander-in-Chief of Allied forces in the Mediterranean Theater, was expected to arrive in Québec soon.

It was believed that the military staffs had long since completed plans for the Mediterranean Theater and were now concerned exclusively with an offensive based upon Great Britain utilizing the British, Canadian and U.S. troops gathered there, which could include attacks on Norway as well as against France with Paris as the first objective.

As far back as January 1942, Messrs. Roosevelt and Churchill considered throwing the Allied weight against Western Europe, it was said, but their military advisors told them the probable casualties made the cost prohibitive.

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Churchill denies victory forecast

Québec, Canada –
Prime Minister Winston Churchill, through a British Information spokesman, denied yesterday that he had predicted an end of the war with Germany within six months.

Assertions that he had made statements to this effect were published in two leading French-Canadian newspapers.

Their circulation provoked a statement from M. Burge, British Information Service spokesman, who, after calling reporters together, said:

The Prime Minister of Great Britain denies having made a statement that the war will be over in six months and would like the widest possible circulation of this statement.

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U.S. State Department (August 17, 1943)

Meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, 2:30 p.m.

United States United Kingdom
Admiral Leahy General Brooke
General Marshall Admiral of the Fleet Pound
Admiral King Air Chief Marshal Portal
General Arnold Field Marshal Dill
Lieutenant General Somervell Vice Admiral Mountbatten
Vice Admiral Willson Lieutenant General Ismay
Rear Admiral Cooke General Riddell-Webster
Rear Admiral Badger Admiral Noble
Major General Fairchild Lieutenant General Macready
Brigadier General Kuter Air Marshal Welsh
Brigadier General Wedemeyer Captain Lambe
Commander Freseman Brigadier Porter
Commander Long Air Commodore Elliot
Brigadier Macleod
Brigadier Wingate
Brigadier General Deane Brigadier Redman
Captain Royal Commander Coleridge

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

August 17, 1943, 2:30 p.m.


Strategic Concept for the Defeat of the Axis in Europe (CCS 303 and 303/2)

The Combined Chiefs of Staff discussed in closed session the strategic concept for the defeat of the Axis in Europe.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:
a. Accepted the extract from CCS 303 which is set forth in CCS 303/2 as a brief and concise statement of their agreed strategic concept for operations in the European Theater in 1943-44.

b. Directed the Secretariat to put CCS 303/2 in proper form with a view to its being submitted to the President and Prime Minister. (Subsequently circulated as CCS 303/3.)

Italian Peace Feelers

The Combined Chiefs of Staff considered a draft memorandum7 for the President and Prime Minister prepared by the British Chiefs of Staff.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:
a. Approved with certain amendments, for submission to the President and Prime Minister, a paper setting out the action suggested on the Italian peace feelers. (Subsequently published as CCS 311.)

b. Directed that a signal should be sent at once to General Eisenhower warning him to hold two staff officers in readiness to proceed to Lisbon. (Message sent as FAN 195.)

Conclusions of the Previous Meeting

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Accepted the conclusions of the 109th Meeting. The detailed record of the meeting was also accepted, subject to minor amendments.

Specific Operations in the Pacific and Far East 1943-1944 (CCS 301)

The Combined Chiefs of Staff had before them a memorandum by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff outlining their views on operations to be undertaken in 1943-1944 in the Pacific and Far East.

Sir Alan Brooke said that the British Chiefs of Staff had read this memorandum with great interest. There were certain points he would like to raise. Was not the assumption that Russia would remain at peace unnecessarily pessimistic? Was an actual invasion of Japan necessarily essential; might we not obtain the collapse of Japan without invasion?

In a discussion on these two subjects, it was pointed out that while Russia had everything to gain by attacking Japan, it might well be that she would wait to do so until the defeat of Japan had been almost completely accomplished.

It was also generally agreed that while blockade and air bombardment might produce the collapse of Japan without invasion, it was necessary to plan on the assumption that the country itself would have to be attacked by land forces.

In reply to a question by Sir Alan Brooke as to the forces required to obtain the objectives outlined in CCS 301, Admiral Cooke explained that an estimate of the forces required for the various operations had been prepared and was being handed over to the British Planning Staff.

Sir Alan Brooke suggested that the Combined Chiefs of Staff should return to a further consideration of CCS 301 and to the plan for operations from India after a review of the report by the Combined Planning Staff on the strategic concept for the defeat of Japan. Each set of operations could then be considered in relation to the whole war against Japan and to the forces required.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff were informed that it was hoped that the report by the Combined Staff Planners would be ready on the following day.

Admiral Leahy pointed out that it was essential for the Combined Chiefs of Staff to take decisions with regard to the specific operations in 1943-1944 during the Conference.

In a further discussion of CCS 301, Sir Alan Brooke asked whether it was considered essential, in order to retain the initiative, that both the advance into the Mandated Islands and New Guinea should be pressed forward with vigor. Might this not prove too costly, and a better course be to restrict operations in New Guinea, thus possibly releasing resources for Operation OVERLORD?

Admiral King said that he considered that if forces were so released, they should be concentrated on the island thrust in the Pacific. However, he believed that both advances were complementary and equally essential. The western advance through Truk, could, after the capture of that base, be swung either north or continue to the westward. Thus the two thrusts would either converge on the Philippines, or one would be directed to the Marianas.

General Marshall pointed out that the troops to be employed in New Guinea were either already there or in transit. Thus, no saving could be made, and the only decision with regard to the troops was whether or not we could afford to take the heavy casualties which might be incurred. Supplies in the New Guinea area, owing to Japanese air action, were maintained almost entirely by 150-foot vessels, and thus no saving in cargo ships or combat loaders would be effected by limiting these operations. Landing craft might be saved, but not tank landing craft. With regard to air, though a small saving might be achieved, all the heavy bombers required for the operations had already been deployed in the area.

Sir Charles Portal said that it was not considered that operations in New Guinea should be discontinued, but rather that they should be limited to a holding role. The Island advance would cut across the Japanese lines of approach to the south.

Admiral Kino explained that the landing craft used in the Kiska operation were required for operations in the Central Pacific. For this reason, it had been essential not to delay the operations in the Aleutians.

General Marshall explained that certain landing craft were still being sent to the Southwest Pacific to meet attrition. He believed that the New Guinea operations were causing very important losses to the Japanese, particularly in aircraft.

Sir Alan Brooke suggested that CCS 301 should include a reference to the air route through Burma into China.

It was generally agreed that a reference to the air route should be inserted, since it was the only existing line of supply into China and must also be considered in relation to the limited capacity of the lines of communication through Assam.

With regard to the value of Chinese troops, General Marshall said that there were some 60 or 70 thousand at Ramgarh and about 200,000 in Yunnan. He believed that they might have great value in the land operations in China provided that they were properly trained and led. He did not visualize a vast Chinese Army being built up.

These troops would have to be led by U.S. officers even though the nominal control of the army, for “face saving” purposes, would be in Chinese hands. They must also be provided with adequate air and artillery support. He believed that if these conditions were met, and if their first operations were crowned with success, they would be of considerable value.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:
a. Directed the Secretariat to draft a subparagraph for inclusion in paragraph 8 of CCS 301 on the subject of the development of the air route into China.

b. Agreed to defer action on this paper until after consideration of the long-term plan for the defeat of Japan.

Operations Against Japan from India, 1943-1944

Sir Alan Brooke said that though the recent floods might force us to change our strategy in this area, he would suggest that the discussion should start on the basis of our present plans. The British Chiefs of Staff had been examining the possibilities of the use of long-range penetration groups which, operating well ahead of the main advances, would by long outflanking movements cut the enemy’s supply lines. They themselves would be largely maintained by air. It was proposed to expand the number of these units now available to some six brigade groups. He suggested that the Combined Chiefs of Staff might ask Brigadier Wingate to explain his recent operation with a long-range penetration group and to set out his views on their future employment. After this the Combined Chiefs of Staff would wish to hear the report of General Somervell and General Riddell-Webster on the repercussions on planned operations of the recent floods.

Brigadier Wingate explained the tactical employment of long-range penetration groups and the reason for their introduction. He then outlined the course of the operations of the 77th Indian Infantry Brigade and put forward his views with regard to the future employment of long-range penetration groups in conjunction with main advances aimed at the recapture of Northern Burma.

In summing up, Brigadier Wingate pointed out that there were two main features in the employment of these groups; firstly, their whole object must be to prepare the way for the follow-up of the main advance and their employment, based on the object of dislocating enemy communications, must fit into the main plan; secondly, plans for the use of these groups must be elastic and open to alteration in the light of enemy reactions.

Sir Alan Brooke said that the British Chiefs of Staff had decided to form six long-range brigade groups and to this end a comb-out of suitable personnel from the Indian Army would be undertaken. One of the difficulties was the lack of trained officers who had served with native troops and could speak their language. The operations outlined by Brigadier Wingate would enable us to seize sufficient of North Burma to open a road to China. These operations must continue until the break of the monsoon in order to avoid a Japanese reaction before the rains started. It was possible that in the second phase, long-range penetration groups might be used, operating from the coast through to the Mandalay-Rangoon line of communication. He suggested that on the following day General Somervell and General Riddell-Webster’s report on the effect of the flood should be studied, together with operations against Akyab or Sumatra, which latter might prove necessary were it found that the floods would seriously hamper operations in Burma.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Agreed to defer action until after consideration of the long-term plan for the defeat of Japan.

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Note by the Secretaries of the Combined Chiefs of Staff

Québec, 17 August 1943.

CCS 303/3

Strategic Concept for the Defeat of the Axis in Europe

The Combined Chiefs of Staff have approved the following strategic concept of operations for the defeat of the Axis power in Europe, 1943-44.


The progressive destruction and dislocation of the German military, industrial and economic system, the disruption of vital elements of lines of communication, and the material reduction of German air combat strength by the successful prosecution of the Combined Bomber Offensive is a prerequisite to OVERLORD (barring an independent and complete Russian victory before OVERLORD can be mounted). This operation must therefore continue to have highest strategic priority.

Operation OVERLORD

a. This operation will be the primary U.S.-British ground and air effort against the Axis in Europe. (Target date 1 May 1944) After securing adequate Channel ports, exploitation will be directed toward securing areas that will facilitate both ground and air operations against the enemy. Following the establishment of strong Allied forces in France, operations designed to strike at the heart of Germany and to destroy her military forces will be undertaken.

b. Balanced ground and air force buildup for OVERLORD, and continuous planning for and maintenance of those forces available in the United Kingdom in readiness to take advantage of any situation permitting an opportunistic cross-Channel move into France.

c. As between operation OVERLORD and operations in the Mediterranean, where there is a shortage of resources, available resources will be distributed and employed with the main object of insuring the success of OVERLORD. Operations in the Mediterranean Theater will be carried out with the forces allotted at TRIDENT except insofar as these may be varied by decision of the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

Operations in Italy

a. First Phase. The elimination of Italy as a belligerent and establishment of air bases in the Rome area, and, if feasible, farther north.

b. Second Phase. Seizure of Sardinia and Corsica.

c. Third Phase. The maintenance of unremitting pressure on German forces in Northern Italy, and the creation of the conditions required for OVERLORD and of a situation favorable for the eventual entry of our forces, including the bulk of the reequipped French Army and Air Force into Southern France.

Operations in Southern France

Offensive operations against Southern France (to include the use of trained and equipped French forces), should be undertaken to establish a lodgment in the Toulon-Marseilles area and exploit northward in order to create a diversion in connection with OVERLORD.

Air Operations

a. Strategic bombing operations from Italian and Central Mediterranean bases, complementing POINTBLANK.
b. Support for ground operations with land and carrier-based air forces.
c. Development of an air ferry route through the Azores.
d. Air supply of Balkan guerrillas.

Operations at Sea

a. Intensified anti-submarine warfare, including operations from the Azores.
b. Security of our sea communications.
c. Continued disruption of Axis sea communications.
d. Support of amphibious operations.

Operations in the Balkans

Operations in the Balkan area will be limited to supply of Balkan guerrillas by air and sea transport, arid to the bombing of Ploești and other strategic objectives from Italian bases.

Garrison Requirements and Security of Lines of Communication in the Mediterranean

Defensive garrison commitments (Appendix “A” to CCS 303) in the Mediterranean area will be reviewed from time to time, with a view to effecting economy of force. The security of our lines of communication through the Strait of Gibraltar will be assured by appropriate dispositions of our forces in Northwest Africa, so long as there remains even a remote possibility of the Germans invading the Iberian Peninsula.


Combined Secretariat

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The Combined Chiefs of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief, AFHQ

Québec, 17 August 1943.


Reference FO telegrams from Madrid 1404 to 1407 repeated to you from London. Instructions as to how you are to deal with the Italian peace feelers are being concerted between the President and the Prime Minister. For Eisenhower FREEDOM Algiers, FAN 195, from the Combined Chiefs of Staff. Meanwhile you should hold 2 staff officers in readiness to proceed to Lisbon immediately on receipt of these instructions to meet General C and should make the necessary transportation arrangements with London for their entry into Portugal. General C has to leave Lisbon on the night of the 20th at latest.

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The Commander-in-Chief, AFHQ to the Combined Chiefs of Staff

Algiers, 17 August 1943.


The following message is personal to General McNarney for Eyes Only from Eisenhower. I request that the following message be sent to the Combined Chiefs of Staff with the least possible delay.

I have seen messages number CONCRETE 231, 232, 233, and 234 from the Foreign Secretary to the Prime Minister. I have the following suggestions to offer.

1st, If the Combined Chiefs of Staff should direct me to send a staff officer to Lisbon, I believe he should go with the following general instructions:

  • (a) To collect information and check it against that already in his possession.
  • (b) To inform General C that the Allied force here make no promise in advance but that if the Italian army is really anxious to speed up the date when an Allied force lands in Italy, it should proceed at once with widespread sabotaging operations, particularly directed against all communications, airfields and public utilities useful to the Germans.
  • (c) That the Italian Government and army have no recourse except to depend upon the decency and sense of justice of the Allied governments when once we have arrived in Italy.

My second suggestion is that if I am not directed to send a staff officer to Lisbon that the British Military Attaché at that place be directed to secure every possible item of information he can from General C and forward it to this headquarters by early cable.

If I am directed to send a staff officer to Lisbon, the individual will be Brigadier Strong of the British Army, head of my Intelligence Division. He will travel in civilian clothes with passport duly issued by the local British Consulate.

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740.00119 EW/8–1743: Telegram

The British Foreign Office to the British Embassy in the United States

London, August 17, 1943.

Most secret

Following telegram has been sent to Québec:

Manzini, Secretary of the Italian Legation in Lisbon, has passed the following information to us through most secret channels at the request of d’Ajeta, new Counsellor with whom he is collaborating on peace moves.

  1. Statements made by d’Ajeta to Sir R. Campbell on August 3 were modified by last-minute instructions from Guariglia and an essential part was completely omitted. For unknown personal reasons Guariglia is evidently favouring German game and is impeding the intentions of the Supreme Command and the King to surrender immediately. The Supreme Command desires to establish forthwith technical details of surrender and Allied occupation, without the knowledge of the Germans, in order to frustrate their reprisals. [Garble] it has full assent of the King, General Staff, the Pope and the Government except Guariglia. To achieve this end Supreme Command decided to send their fully authorized delegate, General Castellano, to Lisbon to meet a specially authorized British delegate. Castellano is pro-British and is described as the brains of the Italian General Staff and as the man who prepared the way whereby Badoglio took over the Government.
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740.0011 European War 1939/30775: Telegram

The Chargé at Vatican City to the Secretary of State

Vatican City, August 17, 1943.


I have received a first person note dated August 15 from Cardinal Secretary of State. This is Tittmann’s 155, August 17. My 153 [bis], August 13. Summary follows.

Note begins by reciting arguments already used by Holy See against bombing of Rome and states that unfortunately they went unheeded with result that there was painful surprise when the very nations that wished to spare Athens and Cairo from bombardment undertook to bombard Rome in whose favor certainly no less pressing reasons militate than those advanced for the other two cities. The first raid, note continues, caused very considerable damage to Basilica of San Lorenzo while second destroyed one church and damaged another; at this rate it will be difficult to avoid danger of most serious and irreparable destruction.

Note goes on to say that the newly formed Italian Government at instance of Holy See decided to declare and render Rome an open city and that to this end suitable negotiations were begun with Allied governments through agency of Holy See. Note states that although no reply yet received from British Government, American Under Secretary of State in a letter dated August 8 informed Apostolic Delegate Washington that matter was receiving most earnest consideration of the highest U.S. authorities and that in meantime he was authorized by President to make known that in conformity with the principles of international law and treaties nothing prevented Italian Government from proceeding unilaterally to declare Rome an open city. In view of the foregoing note states at this point:

You are in a position to judge whether repetitions of bombings of Eternal City are opportune while these negotiations are pending.

Note continues that if attempts are made to justify future bombings on grounds of so-called military exigencies it may be said in reply that considerations of military objectives (which in Rome would not seem to be of great importance) ought not to prevail over (he very serious superior reasons of religion, civilization and humanity and that repetition of deadly bombardments of Rome and of so many other Italian cities with even greater intensity is because of the exasperation it causes among the masses keeping peace away instead of shortening war and is rendering impossible understanding and collaboration among peoples which alone is the guarantee of common tranquility.

After lamenting fact that the Pope has not been spared pain of witnessing his Diocese and his children that are nearest to him so cruelly tried the note concludes:

As you well know last night the Italian Government, to which I felt it my duty to communicate the reply of the Under Secretary of the United States made public the fact that it declares Rome the center of Catholicism an open city and that ‘the necessary measures are being taken according to international law’. Since it appears that matters are now well advanced the Holy See would be grateful if further negotiations could take place with the greatest possible speed in order that the desired agreement on so serious a question may be reached as soon as possible. The Holy See does not doubt that in the meantime any sort of fresh bombardment of Rome will be avoided.

My British colleague has received a similar note from Cardinal Maglione and is telegraphing a summary thereof to London.

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740.0011 European War 1939/30776: Telegram

The Chargé at Vatican City to the Secretary of State

Vatican City, August 17, 1943.

U.S. urgent

At 1 p.m., August 16, Italian Government made the following official declaration to the Holy See:

High Command has given orders to be carried out immediately to anti-aircraft batteries Rome not to react in case of air bombardments.

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